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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

‘Cinema Mon Amour’ examines the shift from T. S. Eliot’s rejection of cinema to contemporary poets’ engagement with it as object of desire, related to increasing cine-literacy, the influence of the Beats, and the BFI Production Board generation of film-makers, including Derek Jarman. Eliot characterizes film as ‘nerves in patterns on a screen’, feminized by association with the film star and film as popular culture, a characterization still seen in contemporary work, albeit rendered positively. Poets such as Simon Barraclough concentrate on film in relation to memory and an Edenic nostalgia, while feminist poets such as Redell Olsen and Denise Riley challenge both objectification and nostalgization by investigating the filmic, or formal, qualities of cinema, rather than the cinematic (industrial, economic), as distinguished by Garret Stewart. Together, they have shifted British film poems away from the televisual and towards the uniquely integrated, artisanal practice of film-maker and poet Margaret Tait.

Keywords: film, poetry, film poem, nerves, filmic, cinematic, desire, star, feminine

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